The Institute of Robotics – BAS is coordinator of the European competitive project “Increasing the well-being of the population by robotics and ICT based innovative education” (RONNI), DSPF, 07_ECVII_PA07. The main goal of the project is the application of robotics and digital technologies in education to overcome learning difficulties and raise the level of competence, capacity and skills of future citizens for a better quality of life. It is envisaged to create a Balkan regional network of specialists for partnership initiatives and knowledge exchange.

A key approach is the use of modern robotic technologies with multifunctional applications such as the intelligent platforms “Robots NAO”, educational robots, “Lego Mindstorm” systems, “Turtlebot” and others. The activities will use the built and implemented innovative robotic modules at the Institute of Robotics which are programmable to support the learning process for both kindergartens and schools. Education policies across the world are aimed at involving children from an early age into creativity, imagination and self-discipline. Obviously, this is one of the most important problems for civilization. There are no technological and cultural breakthroughs in the future without care for adolescents. Therefore the project, led by the Institute of Robotics-BAS, uses the scientific approach in education by creating prerequisites through game environment and conditions fostering the imagination for children and students to develop their creativity and potential.

The role of the Robo-Academy, uniquely designed for the country by the Institute of Robotics-BAS within the Pupils’ Institute of BAS, is significant. It is envisaged to conduct a survey among teachers, education administration experts, municipalities and non-governmental organizations and especially among parents about the need and form of introducing these technologies in kindergartens and schools. The survey will be held in the countries participating in the project: Bulgaria, Greece and Croatia. In addition to partner countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina will also take part in the survey. This Balkan Forum supports the prosperity of the region. The desire of all participants is to form a consortium to prepare a future strategic project on this subject.

From 26.02.18 to 01.03.18 in Kavala, Greece, the kick-off meeting of the project funded by the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the Danube Strategic Project Fund (DSPF) and the City of Vienna with coordinator IR-BAS was held. The project leader is Assoc. Prof. Dr. Snezhana Kostova. The host of the meeting was the project partner from Greece: the Department of Computer and Information Technologies at the Technological Institute of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (EMaTTech), Kavala. The partners from the University of Split (US), Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FESB), Croatia as well as strategic partners from Greece participated. The meeting was attended by more than 30 participants. This Balkan meeting which passed in a spirit of good will and co-operation was used to exchange experiences among the participants.